Viral story: 'Journey Max' travels on foot with dogs in tow

This viral story will surely melt your heart. An elderly man being called "Journey Max" is doing a cross-city travel on foot with dogs in tow.

We can compare this to the tale of Hachikō the ever-loyal Akita dog from Japan who waited for his master at the train station until he died. The twist is that this time, it's the master who is very devoted to his pets.

The 72-year-old man, whose real name is Maximo "Kalipayon" Delima, wants to go to his hometown in Visayas.

Travelling all the way from General Santos City, he plans to take the route to Ormoc, Leyte via Digos City, Davao City, Tagum City then to Butuan City and sail on a ship via Nasipit, Agusan del Norte, or Surigao City.

Journey Max can always ride a bus, don't you think? But he doesn't want to leave his pet dogs or let anyone adopt the domestic animals so he's making an ultimate sacrifice: go to his destination walking.

According to people who interviewed him, four out of ten dogs died when they fell into a ravine while walking at night in Baluyan, Davao del Sur.

Photo courtesy of Mercy Red

As of noontime today, he was spotted at the vicinity of Magsaysay street in Davao.

Members of the Facebook group Davao Pet Lovers (DPL) have been posting photos of Journey Max as well as updates on his location. They also gathered food and solicited money for him.

Photos courtesy of Elajh Guis Zaldu

Photo courtesy of Kul Teyob Nablatnom

The Dog Owners of Tagum Association reportedly offered to meet him in Tagum City so they can provide whatever support he needs.

The question now is with his dogs in tow, will Journey Max be allowed to enter the ship once he arrives at the port? We hope someone or a group can help him get through that possible predicament.

Update #1: Journey Max and his pack were brought to Tagum City this afternoon by a good samaritan, according to DPL member Angel Avelino, who also posted the following pictures.

Update #2: Mercy Red, member of the Dog Owners of Tagum Association, posted early Tuesday morning that Journey Max is already in Tagum City. With the desire to bring him and his dogs to Leyte, Mercy appealed for a bigger vehicle because all of them won't fit in her Pajero.

Update #3: This story was featured Tuesday night, March 17, on ABS-CBN's primetime newscast, TV Patrol. It was reported that the Tagum City local government unit (LGU) promised to shoulder the transportation expenses of Journey Max to Ormoc, Leyte.

Update #4: Journey Max has arrived in his hometown in Leyte, ABS-CBN News reported on Friday, March 20. He was very emotional when his brothers and other relatives met him and his 6 dogs in Ormoc, especially when he found out that their mother already died.

Here are the latest photos from Sharon Evite Carangue of ABS-CBN News Tacloban:

Journey Max said he is thankful to those who helped him.